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Turkish Press Review, 99-12-09

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

09.12.99

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [02] CEM: "WE DO NOT WANT FAVOURS"
  • [03] BRITAIN: "WE ARE BY YOUR SIDE"
  • [04] ROMANO PRODI FAVOURS RECOGNITION OF TURKEY'S CANDIDACY
  • [05] TURKEY SHOULD BE IN EU
  • [06] ANKARA'S PRECONDITION FOR ATHENS
  • [07] GREEK PRESS COMMENTS ON TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY
  • [08] PAPANDREU: "NO POSTPONEMENT"
  • [09] SIMITIS TALKS ABOUT CANDIDACY
  • [10] DENMARK SUPPORTS TURKEY'S CANDIDACY
  • [11] RETIRED GENERALS' FULL SUPPORT FOR EU MEMBERSHIP
  • [12] ABDI IPEKCI AWARD TO ISMAIL CEM
  • [13] GREECE SETS UP TENT-CITY IN DUZCE
  • [14] ATTACK AT TRNC'S BORDER
  • [15] GREEK-CYPRIOTS WANT VAROSHA AND GUZELYURT
  • [16] CLINTON COMPLIMENTS KHAZAR
  • [17] HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION IN GEORGIA
  • [18] TURCOMANS REQUEST SUPPORT FROM TURKEY
  • [19] FORESTRY MINISTER IN ARGENTINA
  • [20] TURKEY GUILTY
  • [21] MHP HOSTS 'RED DANNY`
  • [22] 157 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED IN EDIRNE
  • [23] CLOSED BOSPHORUS ON NEW YEAR'S EVE
  • [24] TURKISH BROADCAST IN KOSOVO
  • [25] PRIVATIZATION FOR THE YEAR 2000
  • [26] MORGAN'S PREDICIONS FOR ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [27] TUSIAD CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC
  • [28] ONE OF THE CHEAPEST COUNTRIES IN EUROPE: TURKEY
  • [29] KOC-ATA LAYS A FOUNDATION IN GAP
  • [30] GOOD NEWS FROM AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR
  • [31] WORLD-TURKISH BUSINESSMEN'S COUNCIL
  • [32] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [33] AT THE HELSINKI TURN BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)
  • [34] CHALLENGED BY HISTORY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [02] CEM: "WE DO NOT WANT FAVOURS"

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, reiterated that Turkey is obeying the rules of the EU and added, "The Copenhagen Criteria are the common values of humanity, and Turkey will conform to these criteria whether she becomes a member of the EU or not. Turkey's attitude is very open; she has adapted herself to the rules of the EU and she will keep on following these rules." /Turkiye/

    [03] BRITAIN: "WE ARE BY YOUR SIDE"

    The mild atmosphere has made itself felt the day before the Helsinki Summit, due to begin tomorrow in the capital city of the EU's current President, Finland. Big names within the EU, France, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Brussels and Sweden have revealed a positive attitude during the last week and so there now appears not to be any great problem in the way of Turkey's candidacy status. The spokesman for Britain's Prime Minister, Alastair Campbell, said that all the necessary steps will be taken concerning Turkey's candidacy at Helsinki. Campbell further added that Britain will support Turkey as far as she is able. Campbell said, "The procedures that Turkey should undergo for her candidacy will also be discussed during this Summit. Turkey is the a partner for the EU and a strategic ally of the EU during the Kosovo and Gulf Crises. In addition, Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is also in favour of the recognition of Turkey's candidacy." /Sabah/

    [04] ROMANO PRODI FAVOURS RECOGNITION OF TURKEY'S CANDIDACY

    The European Commission's Chairman, Romano Prodi, in a press conference yesterday, stated that when Ankara conforms to the Copenhagen Criteria, then discussions will begin. Prodi further added, "I will be very glad if Turkey's candidacy is approved. Opinions are being exchanged within this framework. There will be no problem in Helsinki over the Cyprus issue; I advise everyone to leave Ankara and Athens alone on this issue. There is a positive atmosphere existing between these two parties and they are continuing their discussions, which is very profitable for all of us." In addition, observers state that Turkey's chances have greatly increased compared to previous years. Meanwhile, it came to light that Turkey had given a written guarantee to Brussels before the Helsinki Summit. Ankara explained in writing that she considered the Copenhagen Criteria to be not a way to enter into the EU, but to comprise the values that are her target; for Turkey, the Copenhagen Criteria are the point that should be reached, whether the country becomes a member of the EU or not. /Turkiye/

    [05] TURKEY SHOULD BE IN EU

    One day before the EU's Helsinki Summit, European countries are declaring their support for Turkey's EU membership one by one. The French Presidency publicized its desire for the proclamation of Turkey's EU membership at the Helsinki Summit. Also, the British Premier's Spokesman announced that Britan would stand up for Turkey's membership. /Aksam/

    [06] ANKARA'S PRECONDITION FOR ATHENS

    Ankara, having completed preparations for the Helsinki Summit, established an action plan in order to confront Athens' last- minute initiatives. If Athens puts forward the subject of the Greek-Cypriots' full EU membership, Ankara will tie its demand to a precondition; Ankara will request the withdrawal of the Greek-Cypriots application, and will ask for an amendment comprising the Turkish-Cypriots as well. /Aksam/

    [07] GREEK PRESS COMMENTS ON TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY

    The 'Kathimerini' newspaper published in Greece said that diplomatic traffic had become very intense in the run-up to the EU Summit in Helsinki on December 10-11. The 'Elefterotipiya' newspaper remarked that the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Greece are exerting every effort to ensure backing for Turkey's EU candidacy and the continuation of the dialogue between the two countries. The 'Etnos' newspaper quoted the words of Greek Foreign Minister Papandreu who said, "The work of Ismail Cem towards Turkey's European prespective should be awarded". The 'Eksousia' newspaper pointed out that concentrated diplomatic initiatives by the US and Germany had been underway, but that Greece would only be satisfied after having seen the text of the final declaration from the Helsinki Summit. /Milliyet/

    [08] PAPANDREU: "NO POSTPONEMENT"

    The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Papandreu, said that there is no possibility of postponing the discussion of Turkey's EU candidacy to another EU Summit meeting. Papandreu made a statement following the Greek Assembly's Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting and said, "The Helsinki Summit will be the meeting during which members will say 'yes' or 'no' to the question of Turkey's candidacy. If a postponement occurs, this will also have an effect on other candidate countries. If Turkey's candidacy is not approved during this Summit, then this issue will remain on the agenda to be taken up either this June or at the following Summit that will be held next year. I think Turkey has a 50-50 chance of obtaining approal." /Turkiye/

    [09] SIMITIS TALKS ABOUT CANDIDACY

    Turkey's EU candidacy was discussed by the Greek Council of Ministers, headed by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, yesterday. Simitis said that they supported Turkey's EU candidacy but added that they would not give it the green light until they had seen the final form of the Helsinki declaration. Simitis said, "Turkey's EU candidacy will be a step taken towards good neighbourliness and cooperation between our two countries. However, a clear stance is not assumed to be able to solve the current concerns, Turkey's candidacy will create some tension and problems". /Hurriyet/

    [10] DENMARK SUPPORTS TURKEY'S CANDIDACY

    Danish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen said that they were in support of Turkey's EU candidacy and added that Turkey should also take her place within the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI). Petersen said, "After Turkey's EU candidacy is granted, Turco-EU cooperation will be further strengthened. New prerequisites imposed on Turkey are out of the question during the EU Summit in Helsinki. Turkey has achieved some significant improvements in human rights and democracy". /Hurriyet/

    [11] RETIRED GENERALS' FULL SUPPORT FOR EU MEMBERSHIP

    The retired Generals, who attended the 'OSCE 99 and Turkey's Importance in the 21st Century` discussion panel, said that Europe could not be thought of without Turkey, and all means possible should be tried out so as to join the EU. Retired General Cevik Bir and the Air Forces' former Commander, retired General Ilhan Kilic, stressed that Turkey's EU membership will be useful for both Turkey and Europe. /Aksam/

    [12] ABDI IPEKCI AWARD TO ISMAIL CEM

    The 'Abdi Ipekci Peace and Friendship Award' will be presented to Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. According to a decision unanimously taken by the Turkish and Greek members of the Committee, the award ceremony will be held both in Ankara and in Athens. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu had previously praised the efforts of Ismail Cem in contributing to Turkey's EU candidacy bid and the development of Turco-Greek relations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] GREECE SETS UP TENT-CITY IN DUZCE

    The Head of the Duzce Crisis Desk, Deputy Governor Orhan Ozturk, stated that Greece planned to set up a 300-tent settlement in Kucukahmetler, a village in the Duzce district of Bolu, on behalf of the EU. /Milliyet/

    [14] ATTACK AT TRNC'S BORDER

    In the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), policeman Huseyin Bahce (30) was wounded by gun-fire issued from the Greek-Cypriot region. According to information obtained from the Police, yesterday at 7:00 a.m, three armed men, crossed the buffer zone under UN control, and infringed the TRNC's borders, opened fire on a police team, as a consequence of which policeman Huseyin Bahce was wounded. Following the attack, the three men escaped to the Greek-Cypriot zone. The TRNC Foreign Ministry and Defence Ministry protested about the incident to the UN. President Rauf Denktas also said, "The importance of the recognition of our sovereignty has once more been underscored by this event." /Aksam/

    [15] GREEK-CYPRIOTS WANT VAROSHA AND GUZELYURT

    The Greek-Cypriot Administration, during the indirect Cyprus negotiations that are going on in New York, has asked for Varosha and Guzelyurt, which are under the control of Turks, to be given to them. In the Greek-Cypriot 'Mahi' newspaper, it was written that, during the meetings, the Greek-Cypriot Administration suggested Varosha should become an international harbour, and Guzelyurt should be returned to the Greek-Cypriot Administration. /Turkiye/

    [16] CLINTON COMPLIMENTS KHAZAR

    The American President, Bill Clinton, has described the signing of the Baku-Ceyhan oil and Turkmen gas agreements during the OSCE Summit in Istanbul as one of the most important events of the year. Clinton spoke at a press conference in which he told of his political achievements in the area of foreign policies and said, "Meetings on Cyprus are being held in New York, which is an important achievement in terms of my Administration." President Clinton added, "Among the Administration's foreign political achievements are progress in the Northern Ireland peace process and the agreement that made China a member of the World Trade Organization. We are also proud of the point that we reached in Kosovo. In addition, the Cyprus talks have begun again, which is of the utmost importance." /Turkiye/

    [17] HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION IN GEORGIA

    A delegation consisting of the Head of the Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Commission, Sema Piskinsut, and some Commission members went to Georgia yesterday. The Turkish delegation will visit Chechen refugee camps in the Akmeta-Pankisi region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [18] TURCOMANS REQUEST SUPPORT FROM TURKEY

    The Turcoman Council, the highest decision-making organ of the Iraqi Turcoman Front, convened in Erbil, Northern Iraq, last weekend. Turcoman leaders claimed that their future depended on Turkish support. They declared their loyalty to the territorial integrity of Iraq and added that friendly relations between Turcomans and Kurdish people should be further strengthened. The final declaration of the Council stated that discrimination against Turcomans should end adding that the rights of Turcomans should be granted by Iraq and should be incorporated into the constitutional guarantee. /Cumhuriyet/

    [19] FORESTRY MINISTER IN ARGENTINA

    Forestry Minister Nami Cagan went to Argentina yesterday to attend the Argentine Presidential inauguration ceremony. Cagan made a statement prior to his departure from Istanbul's Ataturk airport and said that he would represent the Turkish Government at the ceremony to be held in Buenos Aires, during which the former Argentine President, Carlos Menem, will hand over his duty to the newly-elected President, Fernando De Laura. Cagan will return to Turkey on December 13, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [20] TURKEY GUILTY

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), concerning a complaint submitted by the Freedom and Democracy Party's (FDP) founders, condemned Turkey to pay damages of 70 thousand FF. The Turkish Constitutional Court decided to close down the FDP on July 14th, 1993. /Aksam/

    [21] MHP HOSTS 'RED DANNY`

    Yesterday, Ankara was the stage for an historic meeeting. One of the left-wing activists of the 68 generation, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, nick-named 'Red Danny`, met with Devlet Bahceli, a nationalist leader of the same period. Bendit, Co-Chairman of the Turco-EU Joint Commission Delegation, left his meeting with Bahceli very pleased. In reply to questions posed by journalists, he said, "In politics, to meet people holding different views is important. If both sides have the same idea, then no discussion is expected. Problems may be overcome by discussions." /Aksam/

    [22] 157 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED IN EDIRNE

    The Gendarmerie has captured 157 immigrants attempting to illegally cross the border from Edirne in Turkey to Greece. Officials said that the immigrants were from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Palestine, and added that they were later sent to Edirne Security Office in order to be deported, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [23] CLOSED BOSPHORUS ON NEW YEAR'S EVE

    It has been stated that the Bosphorus will be closed to shipping on Dec. 31st for 12 hours. On the threshold of the year 2000, officials have prohibited the passage of ships through the Bosphorus, since the ships' computerized systems may not be ready for the new Millennium, and they desire to prevent any incidents which may emerge during that day. /Aksam/

    [24] TURKISH BROADCAST IN KOSOVO

    The International Peace Keeping Force in Kosovo (KFOR) has begun to broadcast in Turkish in addition to English, Albanian and Serbian. Meanwhile, last week, a Turkish newspaper the 'New Term` began to be published. The temporary administration, established following the NATO intervention, up to now has not included the Turkish language in its media organs. /Aksam/

    [25] PRIVATIZATION FOR THE YEAR 2000

    State Minister Yuksel Yalova has stated that the Petkim-Yarimca establishments and Isdemir will be privatized during the second half of the year 2000, selling Petrol Ofisi and TUPRAS shares to the public. Yalova also stated that it is planned that some establishments such as Yalova, Erdemir, Tupras and Petkim will be privatized during the final quarter of the year 2000. Revenue amounting to 5.2 billion dollars will be obtained from these privatizations. /Sabah/

    [26] MORGAN'S PREDICIONS FOR ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE

    The American investment bank Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MSDW) predicts that the Istanbul Stock Exchange will increase by 35% during the first quarter of the year 2000. Morgan believes that that it is unlikely that the interest rate will fall below 50% in the medium term. MSDW also thinks that if foreign investors bring fresh financial funds to the market, then profits will be obtained from the stock floating on the market. /Sabah/

    [27] TUSIAD CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC

    In its first optimistic statement for several years on the government's economic policy, the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) yesterday gave cautious support to the government's ambitious anti-inflation programme, which is also sponsored by the IMF. "The government has finally taken the path of no return in curbing public sector deficits and lowering inflation", TUSIAD Supreme Advisory Council Chairman Bulent Eczacibasi said at the Council's Annual General Meeting in Ankara. He added that businessmen can now, for the first time in many years, see 'a light at the end of the tunnel'. "We believe Turkey now has a serious chance of defeating inflation", he added. Meanwhile, TUSIAD Chairman Erkut Yucaoglu pledged the Association's full support for the Government's efforts to achieve its macro-economic targets in the year 2000. /All papers/

    [28] ONE OF THE CHEAPEST COUNTRIES IN EUROPE: TURKEY

    After Spain, Turkey is the cheapest country in Europe. The prices of many products in European countries are much higher than those in Turkey. However, purchasing power in Turkey is lower than that in European countries. /Sabah/

    [29] KOC-ATA LAYS A FOUNDATION IN GAP

    The Koc Holding Company and the Ata Companies' Group will launch a venture to establish milk and meat facilities, the most contemporary to be found in Turkey, on the Harran Plain. The construction of the facilities costing $17 million will begin on December 16. The scheme will make great contributions to the development of economic and social life in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region. Meanwhile, it is reported that electricity production from the Kralkizi and Dicle dams, whose construction has already been completed as part of the GAP, will start in the upcoming days. /Sabah/

    [30] GOOD NEWS FROM AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR

    Production in the automotive sector increased by 23 % in November when compared to the same month last year. According to data supplied by the Automotive Industry Association, 25,749 cars were produced in November 1999; this figure was 20,858 in November 1998. /Sabah/

    [31] WORLD-TURKISH BUSINESSMEN'S COUNCIL

    The Head of the World-Turkish Businessmen's Council, Sakip Sabanci, said that the Council's third meeting would be held in Istanbul in April 2000. Sabanci, Head of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Erkut Yucaoglu, and an accompanying delegation were received by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli yesterday. Sabanci stated that businessmen around the world would convene in Istanbul next year and nearly 2,000 Turkish businessmen were also expected to attend the meeting. The first meeting of the Council was held in Izmir and the second was in Istanbul, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [32] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [33] AT THE HELSINKI TURN BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Dogan Heper writes about the possible decision to issue from the Helsinki Summit. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Only hours are left before the announcement of a decision in Helsinki. The final situation can be summarized as thus: Turkey's nomination is supported by 14 countries and the Greek stand is not clear. Greece is implying that she is waiting for a gesture from Turkey and everyone knows that 'gesture' means a concession on Cyprus.

    Fourteen European countries are trying to find a way which would please both Ankara and Athens. There are two formulas on the agenda, the first one being that a decision should be taken on not permitting the prevention of the membership of a country to the EU by another. The second is that the Greek-Cypriot Administration may be accepted as a member before a solution is reached on the Cyprus question.

    If Turkey's nomination is approved there will a 'route map' on the agenda. The prerequisites for full-membership will be determined there and Turkey will have to implement these conditions step by step. What if Turkey's candidacy is linked to requirements which are hard to swallow? That is to say what if there is a proviso insisting on equal rights for minorities? In Turkey only non-Muslims are granted minority status. There is no racial minority in Turkey. Every citizen is equal in the eyes of the law. Everyone is a first-class citizen. If the EU wants to impose a concept of minority based on race, would not that mean carving Turkey up into pieces? Reducing citizens of equal status to that of a minority cannot be accepted. France did not admit it and still does not assent to it.

    Apart from these, other conditions will concentrate on human rights and democratization. As Turkey also wants to improve these circumstances, there is no need to dwell on them. It is a fact that there have been unbelievable human rights violations, torture, massacres, and wide-ranging implementation of dictatorship and fascism in the history of Europe. In Turkey, such violations have never reached that scale.

    Turkey is greatly advanced and in many ways cannot be compared with some of the EU countries. She is a country which can stand on her own two feet in technology, industry, education, communications and tourism. The standard of living has risen. She desires to improve the present levels of democratization and liberalization. Globalization has been adopted by the public and becoming a member of the EU is the wish of Turkish society.

    If the nomination of such a country were rejected at the Helsinki Summit, this would affect Greece more than any-one else. A veto by Athens would result in the animosity of the Turkish people. Athens, who until today was saying unjustifably that she was afraid of Turkey, will feel this fear for the first time. Such a decision will also lead to the opposition of the Greek people to their Government as they want to live in peace and friendship with Turkey. If we look at the issue from this point of view, we may say that this decision concerns Greece more than it does Turkey."

    [34] CHALLENGED BY HISTORY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila writes about the consequences of the Helsinki Summit. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit may perhaps attend the dinner at Helsinki given in honour of Heads of State and Government if Turkey is granted candidacy with no conditions attached and if this decision is conveyed to the Prime Minister beforehand. If not, the issue will not even be considered.

    The dinner invitation aside, if the nomination of Ankara is attached to certain proviso it may not be accepted at all. The Government may not agree to such a candidacy if the announcement of nomination is tied to conditions on issues such as "Cyprus, the Aegean, Ocalan and the Kurdish problem". Recently, Ankara has been emphasizing these points. It is stated that asking for pre-requisites from Turkey which have not been stated as prerequisites for other countries would mean discrimination, and Ankara would never agree to that.

    How does Ankara view Helsinki? The answer given to our question by State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik is, "Helsinki is the challenge of history to the European Union, Greece and Turkey. Turkey has accepted this challenge. Turkey will begin her climb to reach the standards set; we have to work hard to reach our goal, but as we believe that we shall be able to overcome all difficulties in our way we have accepted this challenge." The State Minister, in answer to a question on whether or not the EU and Greece had accepted this challenge, answered thus:

    "History is also challenging the EU and asking if they would continue on their way as a 'Christian club' whose vision is blinkered, or carry out the requirements of globalization. To Greece it asks if she will improve her neighbourly relations with Turkey or withdraw to a position based on dispute and conflict. If the EU and Greece can accept this challenge they will announce Turkey's nomination Turkey without attaching any preconditions."

    Helsinki will be a test not only for Turkey but also for Europe and Greece on the threshold of the 21st century."


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